Tuesday, August 7, 2012

CKC Lancaster Review

I'll review the hotel first, then the classes and crops, then the vendor fair.


 The hotel was easy to get to from where I live. It took me an hour and a half to get there, but the traffic was way better than that around Philly and Valley Forge. The hotel was clean, the rooms were nice, and the hotel was located near plenty of eating places within walking distance. The best place to get fresh foods and sandwiches was the Central Market across from the hotel. The staff at the hotel were all pleasant and helpful. The elevators were pretty speedy, but using your room card every time you got on one to go up was a pain. Some of their stairwells led to work areas, not the floors you needed to get to. They had escalators that saved lots of climbing of said stairs. CK placed some tables and chairs in some lobby areas so people could crop if they wanted to during the day and I saw many people doing their in the actual crop room while the vendor fair was going on. A side note...you don't need to cram twenty people on an elevator. Wait for the next one. There's nothing worse than being packed in with someone's tote or bag jamming into your back or legs. Overall the Marriott location blows the Raddison out of the water for location, cleanliness, and less running between classes and crops. Everything is in one building. I'll gladly go back there next year. The only drawback was the parking. There wasn't a lot of it when we came in Thursday night due to a ballet who had a bunch of the lower level blocked off for them. Thank you CK for getting us the $5.00 rate. It stinks to pay for parking, but it was better than the $17.00 that the Marriott would normally have charged. The lighting in most of the classrooms was poor. There were some switches, but only the Melissa Frances class I took seemed to have figured them out because right before the class started it became well lit. Also some class rooms were a bit on the cold side, so bring a light jacket with you next year just in case.


 Preview Crop - I was surprised that there weren't a ton of people at this crop, but it made it nice and relaxing. It wasn't much of a preview of products being described as it was about the vendors bringing in some items that they had that weren't available at their booths. That made it worth going to for me just because I was able to buy some adorable Echo Park mini kits from Shelby of Embellish It.

 Technique Workshop - This class is always fun because you do learn a few new tricks from vendors you normally wouldn't think of taking classes from or visiting their booths. It's a good way to introduce their products to a larger audience. Some of the pages weren't my style but that's to be expected. I learned to make a really cool little fabric flower by Lickety Split. I also liked the flowers your could make with the stamps from Heartfelt Creations. I went and bought their pad and one large stamp set and I know I'll be visiting their web site in the future for more. They are a better option for me in that I can save money by making flowers instead of buying the expensive pre-made ones. I know I'm going to end up buying a few of the coordinating dies for the stamps too. Their flowers are stunning and when they show you how simple they are to make, it would be crazy to not do them. CK had a great page that I twisted around and made my way. Great papers. I also liked the ones from Embellish It where we did a circle flower using paper and fabric that was frayed. Dollar Scrapbooking did a metallic resist technique using Luminarte Daubers. Shoestring had a layout that you made a pocket to hold things in. SEI showed how to make accordion fold flowers. The Paper Loft did banners and gave you different template options for them. Almost all of the vendors offered second pages for their preview pages at their booths. Craft Fantastic had everyone make a necklace using paper, a glass bead, metal charm and necklace and their glaze and glue. It was easy to do and very pretty. Their booth offered all sorts of jewelry options that you could buy to make custom items.

Latest and Greatest with Basic Grey - Shelby did a good job with this one. You got four nice pages and could buy the second pages at her booth where she carried Graphic 45, Basic Grey, Bazzil, Echo Park, and more. She kept the class upbeat and on target. Worth the money as always and you get extra product.

Creative Color Techniques - You do two double pages layouts and have leftover product to use. The pages were pretty and the color technique was using watercolor pencils on stamped images, blending the colors. We also used alcohol inks to dye gems to match our pages.

No Rules Scrapbooking - Stacy taught and there was plenty of class participation with suggestions on how to use the book. We received one Smash book and some additional journaling items to use in said book. I've already used it to jam all of my class tickets, hotel stuff, and other CK stuff into it. I want to dig out my past years items and drop them in to. I will probably buy another Smash book next year and use it to document my CK trip.

Friday Celebration Crop - The goodie bags aren't much to talk about and they didn't do any games other than to have a contest for decorated tables. Lots of small giveaways and a few larger items. Lots of vendors came to this crop to sell their products and there were some good items to be found. I've learned my lesson from this trip that if I take a bunch of classes, do not bring anything extra next year except for photos. My shoulders hurt from lugging around stuff that I never used.

Scrapbooking Off the Grid - Nice pages, extra product, and we did alcohol inks on gems again. You can also use the inks to do staples and other objects to custom color your embellishments instead of searching our colored product.

Quick & Classy with My Mind’s Eye 2012 - This was one of my favorites. Except for a paper of two, everything was precut. We did some fussy cutting of a large section of a paper to use as an element, we made a beautiful crepe paper flower that was sprayed with a gold glitter mist, and we took a premade flower and inked it. The pages were busy, but once put together were easy to make and very beautiful. Well worth taking. I didn't buy the companion pages as I thought they were a bit pricey, but that could be because of the Prima product used on them. The instructor is the owner of Stricktly Scrabooking and was a good instructor. I can't remember her name, but I will take another class by her. It's well worth the money as you did four pages that are made with thick papers and quality embellies.

Pages for All Seasons - Andrea Deer was the instructor/owner and we did two cute pages in the class and took a third with out. She uses lots of layering of die cuts, so if you don't like piecing together things, this won't be for you, but if you don't mind taking a lot of time to work on your pages, you will like what you do. She had a twine circle, and an accordion folded Christmas tree, The pages are very colorful and perfect if you have small children. The companion pages are pricey.

A Year at a Time - A Melissa Frances project that she didn't teach. Her head designer taught the class as Melissa was busy in her booth. As stated in the class description, all we did was make the cover for the book. It's typical Melissa, meaning it's girly and frilly with sparkle. The book cover was easy to make and we used mica flakes on it. What you use the book for is up to you. I'm thinking of using the inside of the book for a Christmas project and filling the covered book with cardstock to make a mini album.

Tried and True Made New - This class was fun because you used old techniques in newer, useful ways. Inking, sticker usage, journal cards, banners, yes, a crimper. If you don't have a crimper, you'll want one after this class just to use it on your handmade embellies. Lots of product as always when you take a CK class. Shelby was upbeat and perky for someone who was probably ready to fall asleep on her feet.

Super Saturday Crop - This crop wasn't as full as the Friday night crop and only a handful of vendors bothered to come to this one. They did a few contests, had lots of giveaways of mostly smaller items, but like the last crop, they gave away a few bigger items. The goodie bags again were sparse. I know the economy is why this is happening. I hope that things get better so we don't lose any more scrap stores or companies.


The vendor fair seemed smaller, but there were a lot of local scrap stores that showed up along with the bigger name vendors. I missed Technique Tuesday and Studio Calico greatly. I wish Skinny Cow would come back. Boxer and Piggy Tails were missing as well. Overall, if you wanted something, you could find it. If it wasn't there, the vendors were more than helpful in ordering it for you if you wanted it. The area was clean and I didn't miss the smell of the greasy food booths that use to be outside at Valley Forge. There was a smaller snack area in the level below the vendor fair. The restrooms were all clean, but some of our scrap friends seem to forget that there's a flush button on the toilets. If an automatic toilet hasn't flushed when you've gotten up and are coming out of the stall, please go and push the little black button so the rest of us don't have to see what you did in there.


Overall I'd have to give this location an A rating. If you haven't attended a CK event, then sign up for one. You'll have fun, learn new things, and meet people who don't look at you like you have two heads when you start talking about scrapbooking!

1 comment:

  1. It sounds as though you enjoyed yourself Denise..I only wish I lived somewhere near to such events!
    Alison xx